Government Backs Apple Against The French

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US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez made it known that the government supports Apple’s contention that forcing it to open its DRM scheme, Fairplay, will promote widespread piracy.

While the Secretary acknowledged needing more time to fully review the legislation passed by France’s National Assembly regarding digital rights management and the need for Apple and similar companies to open those schemes to competitors, Gutierrez voiced on CNBC his support of Apple’s opposition to the bill, the Sydney Morning Herald reported:

“But any time something like this happens, any time that we believe that intellectual property rights are being violated, we need to speak up and in this case, the company is taking the initiative,” he said.

“I would compliment that company because we need for companies to also stand up for their intellectual property rights,” Gutierrez said.

“If we all do that, have the government work with other governments, have companies defend and protect their own intellectual property, then we’ll be able to make more progress on a worldwide basis.”

The problems for Apple started as news began to circulate about the bill. French parliamentarians felt closed systems like Apple’s prevent true competition and innovation from taking place, especially given Apple’s dominance of global digital music sales through iTunes.

French legislators then passed the bill in the lower house of France’s government, the National Assembly. The legislation next goes to the French Senate for consideration.

Upon its passage, Apple promptly blasted the bill as one that will destroy legal online music sales and jeopardize the entertainment industry. “IPod sales will likely increase as users freely load their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music, which cannot be adequately protected,” Apple said. “Free movies for iPods should not be far behind in what will rapidly become a state-sponsored culture of piracy.”

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Government Backs Apple Against The French
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